August 1, 2001

Letter to the Austin Chronicle

Regarding Mme. Chastenet de Géry's rant about the wastefulness of other restaurants' huge portions in her Starlite restaurant review: To a certain extent, I agree, but hasn't she ever heard of a to-go box? I don't ever leave any significant amount of food on my plate, but rather always ask to take it home, where it usually makes an easy second meal. If it's hot outside and I can't leave it in the car or carry it around, I give it to a homeless person, something I also have done in San Francisco and New York. Perhaps asking for a to-go box or tinfoil is considered impolite or uncool, but I think it's immoral to waste food when so many people in our own community are going hungry, and if I were on a date with someone who insisted on leaving half his meal behind, it would be our last. I agree that most restaurant portions tend to be huge, and that it's often difficult to finish all of just one entrée, much less several courses. This is partly because Americans tend to eat just one all-inclusive entree, say, a pasta dish that also contains a lot of meat or vegetables, rather several separate courses as they do in Europe. But I just see large portions as an opportunity to skip the cooking on two nights, and during summer in Texas, that's a blessing!

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